Join Drew Boyd for an in-depth discussion in this video Using social media to promote your products, part of Marketing Foundations.
Social media is an essential part of any marketing plan, no matter what business you're in. Consumers expect a way to learn about your products and share their experiences with others online. Social media is a powerful way to communicate your value proposition and enhance your brand. Here at lynda.com, you'll find many excellent courses on social media marketing, search engine optimization, and details, how to use specific applications like Facebook and Pinterest.
So what I want to do here is give you guidelines on how to make sure you tie your social media programs to your marketing strategy. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where social conversations are happening that are inconsistent with your value proposition. Or, worse, that are sending wrong information about your products and services. Effective marketers use social media in three ways. The first is to listen to the conversations that are taking place.
The second is to join the conversation. And the third is to shape the conversation. I call it the listen, join, and shape model. Let me explain each of these. Giant social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as the smaller lesser known sites, are great sources of market information. But you have to set up systematic ways to monitor these sites to find out what customers are saying to each other. You have to put your ear to the ground so to speak.
Let's look at Twitter. Using the Twitter search function, type in the name of your product. See what tweets are coming across that mention your product. Do this for your brand and company name. You can also set up automatic monitoring of Twitter for these key words, using tools like Hootsuite. You can do the same for Facebook. And you should set up Google Alerts, using key words about your company, and perhaps your competitors. Set up RSS feeds, so that any mention of your product or brand on a website is fed to you automatically in an RSS reader.
Once you have the pulse of the social web by listening in, look for ways to join the conversation. That means get out there and participate in the dialog, but you have to do it in an authentic way. Don't disguise your identity. People will respect your comments and your company if you represent yourself and your company honestly. You should join the conversation when you have something relevant to say in response to a customer, or a potential customer on a social media site.
You may need to resolve a consumer complaint, or perhaps correct some misinformation. Do this in a friendly, helpful way, and you'll build a positive reputation for your company. Here's a tip. When dealing with a customer issue online, always keep in mind what other customers are going to think about the way you're handling it. If you're dealing with a sensitive issue, it may be best to ask the customer to contact you offline through traditional customer service support. Finally, you also have an opportunity to shape the conversation.
Share information that supports your value proposition. Go back to your promotional objectives and create comments on sites that support that objective. Be careful not to overpromote, or you'll just annoy people, and that defeats the purpose. In all cases, be sure to follow your company's social media policy on what you can and cannot do on the social web. Listen, join, and shape. Three effective ways to use social media, and increase the likelihood of success of your marketing strategy.
You'll also learn to address tactical challenges and present the plan to get buy-in throughout an organization, from the C-suite to the sales team, as well as use the marketing plan to guide outside agencies and vendors. Finally, you'll learn how to launch the campaign and measure its performance.
- Marketing in an organization
- Assembling the team
- Creating the marketing plan
- Analyzing your products, customers, and market
- Segmenting customers
- Creating a value proposition
- Developing a strategy
- Setting goals
- Setting prices
- Using social media
- Presenting your plan to leadership
- Budgeting your plan
- Measuring success